Australia Boasts Record Trade Surplus in March
By Kevin Morrison
May 7, 2020 - An increase in Australia's export receipts from bulk commodities such as iron ore, LNG and thermal and metallurgical coal in March helped underpin a record trade surplus, shrugging off any impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on trade.
Australia's export receipts from coal, LNG and metal ores reached A$20.84bn ($12.98bn) in March from A$16.77bn in February, which was revised from the original estimate of A$16.98bn and A$18.41bn in March 2019, according to March's trade data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
The conversion into US dollars is based on the exchange rate of $0.6229 used by the ABS for March.
The sharpest rise in value was with iron ore shipments, with export receipts rising to A$8.95bn in March from A$6.58bn in February and A$6.09bn a year earlier. It was the highest iron ore export receipts since the A$9.33bn in August 2019.
Australian export receipts from China, Australia's largest trading partner, rose to A$12.49bn in March from A$9.75bn in February and A$11.18bn in March 2019. China accounted for almost 30pc of Australia's total exports by value in March.
Total Australian exports were A$42.42bn in March from A$36.86bn in February and A$39.47bn the previous year. The rise in exports and a fall in imports led to a record trade surplus of A$10.6bn in March from A$3.87bn in February and A$4.62bn in March 2019 and exceeded the previous record trade surplus of A$7.81bn in June 2019.